May 5, 2017
As a strong supporter of voter participation, Voqal was excited to see Oregon implement Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) in 2016. This law, which automatically registers Oregon residents to vote (unless they opt out) when they interact with the DMV for things like applying for a driver’s license, is a simple, straightforward way to remove one of the barriers that exist to voting. Furthermore, thanks to support from Voqal several organizations including the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Causa, the Bus Project and Oregon Voice took advantage of this increased voter base to engage new voters in a diverse set of communities.
APANO was not only able to increase registration numbers in Oregon’s Asian Pacific American community, but also increased overall turnout thanks in part to the bigger base of registered voters that resulted from the state’s newly implemented AVR law. Causa Oregon leveraged Voqal’s support and the increase of registered Latinx voters made possible by AVR to better engage those voters during the 2016 election and build a movement for greater civic engagement in the Latinx community. Meanwhile, Voqal’s support enabled the Bus Project to more effectively target new millennial voters, which led to over 97,000 newly registered voters (many of who were millennials) participating in the 2016 election.
Simple solutions to make registering to vote easier is the key to a more engaged voting public, which in turn leads to a vibrant democracy and more equitable world. These Oregon organizations recognize this fact and through their combined efforts reached a large, diverse swath of newly registered voters. We look forward to the continued increase of registered and engaged voters that will no doubt result from Oregon’s AVR law and are proud to support the continued work of these organizations to ensure those voters continue to make their voice heard.